DISPUTING A WILL – WHAT’S THE COST?

The old principle that legal costs arising from disputing a will are usually paid out of the estate (“known as the Probate Costs Rule) is outdated and in need of reform according to the Supreme Court. In a recent case, the deceased had hand written his intentions for his estate in a note book. It was not signed or witnessed as is normally the case for a valid will. Nevertheless, the Court found that the deceased, having studied law and being aware of succession laws, intended that hand written note to form his will and accordingly, the...

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IS IT A TRUST WHEN PARENTS RECEIVE MONEY ON BEHALF OF THEIR CHILD?

A complicated situation can occur for estate lawyers when the surviving parents of the deceased have previously received or held money on their child’s behalf. The question arises as to the basis upon which the money is held and a recent case before the District Court of South Australia is an example of the issues that can be raised. The parties to the case were formerly husband and wife. In 2007 their son died intestate (or without a will) and the mother obtained a Grant of Letters of Administration* with respect to his estate. In 1991...

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